Book Reviews

Book Review: The Purloined Poodle by Kevin Hearne



This book was reviewed for the San Francisco Book Review and Netgalley


Hearne’s The Purloined Poodle is a rollickin’ good novella set in the world of the Iron Druid series. It is told from the point of view of Oberon, Atticus’ ever amusing wolfhound. Through the Druidic arts, Oberon has been granted greater intelligence and longer life than hounds normally have. He can speak mind to mind with his human, though his perspective is all doggie, leading to hilarious exchanges. Some of Oberon’s most amusing commentary would be sooo perverted from a human, but from Oberon it comes with the charming innocence only animals and babies seem to muster. For one, he finds it hard to fathom why Atticus, in his hound form, still shies from sniffing other dogs’ bums, attributing it to Atticus’ ‘human prejudice’ against asses’. I nearly choked on my tea. Another example, assuming the chapter names are Oberon’s, is the title of the second chapter- ‘The Man with the Big Salami’. My, my, how salacious. I choked on my tea again. This is not a book to read while drinking. I adore Oberon’s perpetual confusion relating to human concepts of time. And then he references Dr Who! Twice! And the X-Files!


This story begins on a nice sunny day in a dog park. Oberon meets a pooch named Algy who tries to attack him. Atticus intervenes. Using his Druidic gifts, he soothes Algy, whose owner is quick to join them. Oberon and Atticus learn Algy is stressed because he was recently shot with a tranquiliser while another dog, a Grand Champion poodle, was dognapped. A little Druid magick and some determined digging help our doggy detective and his human to uncover a dasterdly plot, and not only rescue the missing poodle, but several other dognapped Grand Champions of different breeds, and to help bring a killer to justice.


Hearne is a master of the charmingly sarcastic, cut from the same cloth as Jim Butcher and Michael J Sullivan. The Iron Druid books are present day urban fantasy, and many of the places are ones you can really visit. At the end Hearne points out some of those places found in The Purloined Poodle. Description, dialogue, and narrative flow nicely, pulling you along into this doggie-centric cozy mystery Iron Druid style. Hearne never fails to deliver a wonderful, engaging story


“Naked guys on rooftops would normally inspire comment but we were in an isolated area surrounded by trees and mountains and no one saw him but us.”


“…he had travelled too far down the road of eternal asshattery and remained abusive.”


I love both of those lines so much. This book was a big shot of joy when I really needed it. I devoured the whole thing in under two hours!
????? Highly recommended, especially if you like the Iron Druid books, or books by such notables as Jim Butcher, Michael J Sullivan, Scott Lynch, or Patrick Rothfuss. Also KE Mills Rogue Agent series. That too.

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